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Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

28/01/2013

“Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.” Leo Buscaglia

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs...

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

“I will not play tug o’ war.
I’d rather play hug o’ war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins,
and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.” Shel Silverstein 

Hello there! My name is Hugo and I’m a hugaholic… I capture images of people and other life forms sharing a hug; in common and unusual settings. I travel around the world as a freelance photographer for a news outfit, and every chance I get, I encourage people; couples, kids, families, even strangers, to exchange a hug for my Hugging Hearts – Hug Another Soul Today photography project. How did this hugaholic hug fest start? First, a virtual hug to you {{{HUGS}}} Keep reading…

The first shot above, was taken in Portugal next to an Alexandre Farto, aka VHILS installation. The couple in the shot, Jorge and Carmelita, are good friends not lovers. We met in Lisbon on special assignment and they offered to show me around. I’ll come back to their story in a bit. We definitely bonded and they exemplified what Farto said in describing his silver funicular car that “Beyond nationality lies our most essential humanness.” That humanness also defines the universality and power of a hug…

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.” Bil Keane

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs...

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

There’s something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart,
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part….
Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr., “A Simple Hug”

How did I get into the hugaholic photography business? I wasn’t born that way even though my mom told me I was the happiest and most huggable baby of all her five kids. My move from being a regular, self-conscious stiff Joe to Mr Hugaholic, began five years ago. I was a film major at HK University and took a course on creating documentaries. My professor advised us to find a subject of interest, interview them and document it.

I mentioned the project to my best friend Jenna and she suggested we go see the beloved hugging saint, Amma, who was in NY for a few days. I was curious and agreed to go. “Should I bring my camera equipment? Ask for an interview?” I asked Jenna. “No,” she said, “Just bring yourself and be present with an open heart.” I had reservations but went as planned. It changed my life. We arrived at the Center mid afternoon and watched as thousands of people gathered and stood in line to meet Amma; each got a hug.

We waited patiently for our turn and when it came, I knew something in me had shifted. I was swept away by the most tender, loving hug that enveloped me, lifting away my worries and fears. I felt cocooned by a deep love as the sweet smell of jasmine filled the air and Amma whispered blessings in my ears.  She soon released me, smiled at me with compassionate eyes, handed me an apple, a chocolate kiss, and sent me on my way.  I floated away feeling peaceful and quiet inside in ways I had never felt before.  Suddenly, a voice rose inside me, “Go share your hug a 1000 times over, and then share it 1000 times more.”  it said.  And I did. More below!

“A hug is worth a thousand words.” Author Unknown

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs...

Writing Challenge: Gift Of 1000 Hugs…

Hold a friend’s hand through times of trial,
let her find love through a hug and a smile;
but also know when it is time to let go -
for every one of us must learn to grow. Author Unknown

The next day, Jenna joined me on the streets as I stopped and asked people if they’d been hugged and if they’d share a hug and a story. I captured it on camera and shared the results with my professor. I got an A but kept going. Each hug I got filled me with happiness, love and peace; always reminding me that hugs cut across all boundaries and make our humanity shine. I joined the Free Hugs Campaign, enjoyed offerings on HugsUnlimited and built my portfolio.

I’ve accumulated hundreds of photos, plus Jorge and Carmelita are my 999th and 1000th hug. When we first met, two years ago, they were volunteers in an Orphanage and suggested I create books and support orphaned babies. I agreed I would when I reached my 1000th hug. They helped make it happen and I’m grateful for that.  I also thank Amma for her special hug that inspired me. If I meet you on a street somewhere, be sure to ask me for a hug. Here’s another one for you {{{HUGS}}}

Soon, I will create my books and start the next set of 1000 hugaholic shots. I’ll share any proceeds I make from my hug photos and coffee table books with an Orphanage (all kids there get regular hugs) in another part of the world. Stay Inspired. Have a blessed day and thank you for stopping by! :-)
*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs. Thank you all for your patience! :-)

Happy 2013! This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words, Take Two.  Your challenge this week is to write a post based on this picture: Who are these people? What’s their relationship? Could you use a hug? Why?

Positive Motivation Tip: A hug and humor can save the day… Give someone a hug today! :-)

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: Jorge & Carmelita via WP Daily Post,   Amma, Elisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrunia, via Wikipedia,

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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67 Comments leave one →
  1. 29/01/2013 4:47 am

    Brilliant! Love how you have intertwined fact and fiction into an inspiring story :-)

    • 30/01/2013 8:11 pm

      TY Madhu! It was a lot of fun to write and I was nicely surprised with how it unfolded and the responses… appreciated. {{{HUGS}}} ;-)

  2. 29/01/2013 5:50 am

    Very well written, a great hug worth… ;-)

    “A hug is a handshake from the heart” (Author Unknown)

  3. 29/01/2013 6:15 am

    Lovely and inspiring story. I’ve seen another Blog where they have accepted this challenge, and its amazing to see how such different stories can be inspired by the same photograph

    • 30/01/2013 8:19 pm

      I haven’t made the rounds yet, but I bet they are all amazing and different. TY Peter! ;-) {{{HUGS}}}

  4. 29/01/2013 7:25 am

    hmmm, I like this idea. I am a hugger. It was be fun to do this.

    • 30/01/2013 8:22 pm

      I bet you are a generous hugger too. {{{HUGS}}}
      It would be awesome to focus on the shared joy of it. TY! ;-)

  5. 29/01/2013 8:04 am

    Fun post Elizabeth! We can never get too many hugs. Sending you one telepathically.
    b

  6. 29/01/2013 10:30 am

    Wonderful story, Elizabeth…so creative and inspiring at the same time. I love your quotes from Keane and Silverstein. Perfect.

    • 30/01/2013 9:04 pm

      TY TravelerLynne! The quotes were a great help. :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  7. 29/01/2013 11:54 am

    This is a great post for the challenge. I was going to enter, but got caught up doing other things. I’m so glad you did, because now I can celebrate vicariously through you! I love this and big *hugs* to you :D

    • 30/01/2013 10:01 pm

      TY! Yours would’ve been fantastic too. Here’s a hug for you! :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  8. 29/01/2013 12:11 pm

    Elizabeth, you pulled together all the ingredients for a thoughtful, smile-inducing WONDERFUL post!

    • 30/01/2013 10:02 pm

      TY Naomi! The muse worked very hard for it. :lol: {{{HUGS}}}

  9. 29/01/2013 12:37 pm

    Hugging and touching is completely underrated! Thanks for a wonderful post. :)

  10. 29/01/2013 12:40 pm

    What’s better than a hug? Nothing. That’s what.

  11. 29/01/2013 1:54 pm

    wow…another hit right on…How do you do it???

    • 30/01/2013 10:05 pm

      Marilyn TY! I give credit to God via the muse. :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  12. 29/01/2013 2:17 pm

    Nice. :-)

  13. 29/01/2013 4:34 pm

    Beautiful. As you are.

    X HUG X
    X HUG x

    And X HUG X for luck!

    • 30/01/2013 10:07 pm

      You are beautiful and blessed too Matt! TY! :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  14. 29/01/2013 5:11 pm

    It’s amazing how one event can lead to a movement. This was inspiring.

  15. 29/01/2013 5:21 pm

    Reblogged this on More Like A Child and commented:
    This would be perfect for my Good News Mondays, but I felt it was so special that it couldn’t wait for next week. I love Amma & I loved this blog post. Thanks so much, Mirth and Motivation for sharing.

    • 30/01/2013 10:17 pm

      TY Candace for your comment. :-) It touched my heart and we share a love for Amma. {{{HUGS}}}

  16. 29/01/2013 6:01 pm

    Beautiful post Eliz Thanks for sharing this :)

    • 30/01/2013 10:18 pm

      TY so much Jake and good to see you again. :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  17. 29/01/2013 7:05 pm

    Reblogged this on little box of books and commented:
    See, I’m not the only one out here! :)

  18. Allyson Mellone permalink
    29/01/2013 8:52 pm

    For you, Elizabeth, {{{HUGS}}}. From Dante, “infinite goodness has wide arms.” Thank you for your loving post!

    • 30/01/2013 10:21 pm

      Allyson, here’s one right backatcha! TY! :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  19. 29/01/2013 9:56 pm

    What a wonderful and inspiring post! And an excellent take on the pic. Very nicely done.

    • 30/01/2013 10:22 pm

      TY MuZer! I had a lot of fun with it… :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  20. 29/01/2013 10:04 pm

    Wow, that was absolutely FANTASTIC! I’m in awe. Truly. Well done.

    • 30/01/2013 10:23 pm

      What a wonderful surprise to see you here Rhonda! I’m honored… :-) TY! {{{HUGS}}}

  21. 29/01/2013 11:49 pm

    Amma, Leo Buscaglia, Shel Silverstein, Free Hugs campaign and {{{Hugs}}}. This post combines some of my favorite things in life. Thank you, Eliz, for this hug-fest.

  22. 30/01/2013 12:18 am

    Awesome work..I just love it :)

    • 30/01/2013 10:25 pm

      TY Supriya! Grace prevails in all things and I’m thankful for the muse. :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  23. 30/01/2013 12:31 am

    Here’s a post that left me smiling :)

  24. 30/01/2013 7:14 pm

    Great post. I was lucky enough to receive a hug from Amma and while it didn’t change my life it made me focus on what was most important to me at the time which was a great gift.

    • 30/01/2013 10:35 pm

      Great to hear you met her too and focused on an intention. Love your share on meeting Amma. :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  25. 31/01/2013 8:02 am

    Great and heartwarming post, Elizabeth. A 1000 hugs to you my friend :-)

  26. 01/02/2013 6:07 pm

    When words are no longer enough or no words would come out, a hug is all that’s needed. It conveys the intentions of the heart. Inspiring my friend and yes, it felt like 1,000 hugs, even more.

    • 07/02/2013 9:01 pm

      TY IT! You said it so well.. A hug heals the heart…:-) {{{HUGS}}}

  27. 02/02/2013 1:19 am

    Hooray (((((hugstoyou))))) and then some more (((((hugs)))))

    • 07/02/2013 9:02 pm

      Oh you are kind Gilly. TY! Sending you same. :-) {{{HUGS}}}

  28. 02/02/2013 6:02 am

    ((((hugs))))… It’s very heartwarming. :)

  29. 02/02/2013 2:16 pm

    What a wonderful idea!! *hugs* :)

  30. 08/02/2013 8:15 pm

    Well done! {{{hugs}}}

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words, Looking Closer | My Blog
  2. Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words, Take Two Really | My Blog

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